Camana Bay’s the place to dine

On Saturday, 12 January, Camana Bay is hosting what’s billed as The Ultimate Dinner Party. 

The event, part of Cayman Cookout 2012, features a book signing with Anthony Bourdain and Michael Schwartz, cocktails and hors d’ouevres then dinner at Abacus, Ortanique or Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink before delectable desserts courtesy of Francois Payard and the winner of Top Chef Just Desserts. Then, under the stars, there is live music with a world-class special guest to be announced. 


Showcase opportunity 

It is a good opportunity for the Islands to showcase itself to visitors, said Joanne Gammage, public relations manager. 

“Grand Cayman is positioning itself as culinary capital of the Caribbean and we are a destination within a destination,” she said. “As we have restaurants we do have an interest in dining and as more open that can only increase as the years go by. 

“It’s very easy to get the restaurants involved; we have a great relationship with them and they see the benefits not just of promoting their own restaurant but of Camana Bay itself,” Ms Gammage said. “The whole concept of the Ultimate Dinner Party came about from a conversation about how we could incorporate the whole town centre. The idea is that you can go to your favourite restaurant and have an amazing meal with award-winning chefs and also come together before and afterwards for cocktails, desserts and a band which should be really interesting and fun.” 


Great feedback 

With Camana Bay increasingly on the tourist map, feedback has been good. 

“People are pleasantly surprised when they come and see how much we have to offer; not just the dining and Hollywood Theatres, but we have the observation tower and lots of events,” she said. “It’s just a nice place to come and hang out and tourists love it.”
Also hosted will be Taste of Cayman on Saturday, 27 January. 

“Taste traditionally is a draw for locals because of the local flavour,” Ms Gammage said. “If you look at Culinary Month as a whole there is a lot on in the Cayman Islands.” 

From a marketing point of view, events such as Culinary Month are important in continuing to build Camana Bay’s profile. 

“We are trying to build a brand; Camana Bay is part of the Cayman Islands so for us to just promote Camana Bay makes no sense,” she said. “We partner with people like the Department of Tourism and these kind of events can only assist.” 

The events 

Old Friends Reunite 

Wine Dinner at Abacus with Paul Rogalski, Ron Jacobson and Ray Isle. 

After years away from the Cayman Islands, Chef Paul Rogalski returns to Grand Cayman to cook with his old friend, Abacus’ executive chef Ron Jacobson. Together they will bring guests a Rocky Mountain Culinary Experience featuring signature creations. Each course will be paired with a wine selection from Food & Wine magazine’s senior wine editor, Ray Isle. 


Genuine Bloomfield 

Dinner at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink with Michael Schwartz and April Bloomfield. 

Join James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz, executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith, and chef Thomas Tennant’s team at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink as they welcome into the kitchen guest chef April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig, The Breslin, The John Dory, New York City). Guests will enjoy a meal celebrating Cayman’s local ingredients and Bloomfield’s seasonal British and Italian approach to food with wine and beer pairings by sommelier Eric Larkee and beverage manager Ryan Goodspeed. 


Top Chef Goes Caribbean 

Dinner at Ortanique with Cindy Hutson, Richard Blais and Andrea Robinson. 

Ortanique and owner Delius Shirley invite guests to dine Island Style. Promised is a memorable night of culinary delights as celebrity chefs Cindy Hutson and Sara Mair (Bravo’s Top Chef Miami contestant), welcome chef Richard Blais (winner of Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars) into the Ortanique kitchen. Guests are preparing their taste buds for an eclectic mix of bold Caribbean flavours and modern East Coast flare with fine wine pairings by master sommelier, author and television host Andrea Robinson. 



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Michael Schwartz

Michael Schwartz is one of many chefs participating in The Ultimate Dinner Party at Camana Bay. – Photo: File

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